Liverpool have reached an agreement with Aston Villa over the payment terms for the £32.5million (€30.5m) transfer of Christian Benteke.
It is now unlikely the deal will be completed in time for the 24-year-old to take part in Liverpool’s pre-season tour.
When your track record includes Fabio Borini, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert it is little wonder news of Brendan Rodgers spending big on a striker doesn’t inspire confidence.
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Brendan Rodgers now has the striker he wanted and a squad littered with players he’s had a hand in bringing to the club, with Benteke the most expensive and the one upon whom high hopes will be pinned.
If Sherwood was able to improve Christian Benteke’s game after taking over Aston Villa then there’s no reason why he can’t reproduce that same success with Adebayor – which was already reproduced at White Hart Lane. The Englishman was at his best when he had Suarez with him up front, and even though Benteke is not at that level yet, he could be very effective.
“A club like Liverpool cannot go three years without a trophy – it’s not on”. It’s understood Liverpool will pay £16 million immediately on the completion of the deal, with the rest of Benteke’s fee in instalments. Gabriel Agbonlahor’s searing pace was a beneficiary of this at Villa Park and should Rodgers, who has plenty of quick players in his arsenal, find himself relying on a more direct approach next season he will be comforted by Benteke’s qualities as a focal point. Only now, a huge chunk of that fee is tied up by the £32.5 million bid to trigger Benteke’s release clause.
Rodgers earned a lot of credit for that title charge in 2014, but he also got plenty of blame for last season’s sixth-place finish.
Benteke scored more goals against Liverpool than any other side he faced last season, netting five times in all competitions, including the opener in the 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win at Wembley. If this moves is made official, Liverpool will have spent 2/3 of the Raheem Sterling money on a single player.
The repeated deadpan response and meaningful stare from Rodgers prompted an awkward silence before the clearly startled journalist steered the interview back into calmer waters.
The powerful striker is a proven quantity in the Premier League, which is important for Liverpool, but he could struggle if the Reds maintain the same style of play.